It is becoming increasingly clear that the perfect sitcom reality which Wanda Maximoff created for herself and her boyfriend Vision in the town of Westview is on the brink of collapse. The biggest indication that things are headed in a dark direction was in episode seven of WandaVision, in which Wanda ventures into the dank basement of her quirky neighbor Agnes, and discovers the horrifying secret that Agnes is a fellow witch named Agatha Harkness, who has been responsible for all the bad things happening in Westview.
The scene in the basement is a game-changing moment for WandaVision since it has Wanda finally confronting the main villain of the series, with the story now kicking into serious MCU movie action mode. WandaVision director of photography Jess Hall revealed to CinemaBlend that Marvel showrunner Kevin Feige encouraged them to make the scene dark and scary in stark contrast to the previously "sitcommy" version of Westview.
"Mary Livanos, our producer, and [director] Matt Shakman and I - it was one that we had to kind of revisit together a couple of times to decide on quite how it was gonna work - the aspect ratio, where the transition was going to happen. A lot of thought went into it, but ultimately, just the idea of going down, you know, it's a very iconic concept. You go down into a basement, you're headed for darkness. So I just really was playing with that very simple iconography. And finally, I could kind of get into my full MCU dramatic-film-lighting, which I've been looking forward to for a while. So just embracing all the kind of LED technology that we have at our disposal now, and a great set design by Mark Worthington, and embracing the darkness. You know, that was Kevin Feige's note was, 'This needs to be dark and scary.'"
Now that Wanda has confronted Agnes, it has become painfully clear that the perfect reality that Wanda so desperately wants for herself and her family is going to be impossible to maintain. According to Hall, depicting this giant moment of transition all within the space of a single walk down a staircase required a great deal of thought.
"A lot of people have really picked up on that transition. And it was one of the hardest, because things are starting to break apart. I mean, the sitcom wall is very complete in the earlier episodes, but as things become more complicated, you start to see a fracture. And you're seeing it fracture now to the point in Episode 7 where you're also now at a period where the look of the period of the sitcom shows is not a million miles away from the look of a modern digital film. They're using similar cameras, they're using modern lighting technology. So you know, these two things are sitting quite close, but then you've got this massive dramatic reveal to engineer in the space of, like, a staircase. So that was a big challenge."
Written by Jac Schaeffer and directed by Matt Shakman, WandaVision stars Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Paul Bettany as Vision, Randall Park as Agent Jimmy Woo, Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis, Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, and Kathryn Hahn as Agnes. New episodes air Fridays on Disney+. This news comes from CinemaBlend.